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in marriage ; but being in doubt whether he should be able to have her, he sent for a woman who was well skilled in palmistry! She looked carefully into his hand, and declared, • You will marry a princess called Alli — you shall have her.' The king was so delighted, that he took his ring off his finger, and put it upon that of the fortune-teller.”
Should a rich man be greatly pleased with a performer at a comedy, he will call him to him, and take off the ring from his finger, and present it to him. Does a poet please a man of rank; he will take the ring off his finger and put it on his.
A father gives his son-in-law elect a ring from off his finger. When the bridegroom goes to the house of his bride, her brother meets him, and pours water on his feet; then the former takes a ring from off his finger, and puts it on that of the latter.
When the god Rāmar sent Anuman to his goddess, Seethe, he gave him his ring, to show that he had authority to treat with her.
Does one man send to another for any particular article, or to solicit a favour, and should he not have time to write, he will give his ring to the messenger, and say, “Show this in proof of my having sent you to make this request.” Is a master at a distance, and does he wish to introduce a person to the notice of another; he says, " Take this ring, and you will be received.”
Pharaoh's ring carried with it the highest mark of favour towards Joseph, and was a proof of the authority conferred on him.
43. — “Made him to ride in the second chariot — they
cried, Bow the knee.” The Hebrew has for bow the knee, “ Tender father,” which I believe to be the true meaning. Dr. Adam Clarke says
the word 772 X abrec, which we translate bow the knee, might as well be translated any thing else. In chapter xlv. 8.
Joseph says himself, “ God hath made me a father to Pharaoh."
A younger brother is called the little father; he being the next in authority. The king's minister (if a good man) is called the little father. There are five persons who have a right to this parental title. The father himself, a king, a priest, a gooroo or teacher, and a benefactor. Joseph was indeed the father of the Egyptians.
44. — “I am Pharaoh.” Thus did the king swear by himself.
When a person speaks of the certainty of a promise which has been made, he says, “ Kantha
“Kanthan said it.” “I am Kanthan.” i.e. Fear not, it shall be done. Does an individual who supplicates a favour, doubt whether it will be granted or not, he who makes the promise will put his hand on his bosom, and ask, “ Is not my name Kanthan?”
XLII. 15. — “ By the life of Pharaoh.” Nothing is more common than to swear by the life of a great man, a father, or a master.
57. — “ Reuben spake unto his father, saying, Slay my
two sons if I bring him not to thee." Is a man placed in great difficulty, and does he make a solemn promise, in which another person is also involved; he will say, " Ah! if I do not this thing, then kill my children.” “ Yes, my lord, my children shall die if I do not accomplish this object.” “ Ah! my children, your lives are concerned in this matter."
XLIII. 7. — * According to the tenor of these words.”
The Margin has, for words, “ mouth." Send a messenger with a message to deliver, and ask him, on his return, what he said, he will reply, “ According to Sour !
18. — “ The men were afraid, because they were brought
unto Joseph's house.” A more natural picture of the conduct of men, from the country, when taken into the house of a superior, cannot be drawn. When they are told to go inside, they at once suspect that they are about to be punished or confined ; and as they go through the house, they look in every direction, and are ready for a run, at the least appearance of danger.
18. - “ Seek occasion against us, and fall upon us."
The Margin has this, “ Roll himself upon us.” (Job
xxx. 14. Psa. xxii. 8. xxxvii. 5. Prov. xvi. 3.) For to say a man rolls himself upon another, is the Eastern way of saying he falls upon him. Is a person beaten or injured by another ; he says of the other, “ He rolled himself
upon me.” Of the individual who is always trying to live upon another, who is continually endeavouring to get something out of him, it is said, “ That fellow is for ever rolling himself upon him.” So, also, “ I will not submit to his conduct any longer; I will beat him, and roll myself upon him.” Has a man committed an offence, he is advised to
go the offended, and roll himself upon him. A person in great sorrow, who is almost destitute of friends, asks in his distress, “ Upon whom shall I roll myself?”
When men or women are in great misery, they wring their hands and roll themselves on the earth. Devotees roll themselves round the temple, or after the sacred car.
19. “ They came near to the steward of Joseph's house,
and they communed with him at the door of the
house." Who, in India, has not seen similar scenes to this ? When people come from a distance to do business, or to have an interview with a person, they do not (if it can be avoided) go to him at once, but try to find out the head servant, and after having made him some little present, try to ascertain the disposition of his master, what are his habits, his possessions, and his family. Every thing connected with the object of their visit is thoroughly sifted, so that when they have to meet the individual, they are completely prepared for him !
29. — “ God be gracious unto thee, my son.” Was the address of Joseph to his brother Benjamin ; and in this way do people of respectability or years address their inferiors or juniors. “ Son, give me a little water.”
66 The sun is very hot; I will rest under your shade, my son.”
XLIV. 14. — “ They fell before him on the ground.”
(1 Sam. xxv. 23. 2 Kings iv. 37. Mark vii. 25.) It has quite a startling effect upon an Englishman, on his arrival in the East, to see a native, under the impression of terror, or great want, fall at his feet, and supplicate his help: pity, aversion, and surprise, have in a moment possession of his mind. He tells the man to arise; but no, there is a suit to gain ; and therefore, to relieve himself from the embarrassment, he will, if possible, grant the request.*
18. — “ Judah came near unto him, and said, Oh, my
lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in
my lord's ear.” A company of people have always some one amongst them, who is known and acknowledged to be the chief speaker ; thus, should they fall into trouble, he will be the person to come forward and plead with the superior.
He will say, “ My lord, I am indeed a very ignorant person, and am not worthy to speak to you: were I of high caste, perhaps my lord would hear me. May I say two or three words ? ” (Some of the party will then say, “ Yes, yes, our lord will hear you.”) He then proceeds, -“ Ah, my lord, your mercy is known to all; great is your wisdom; you are even as a king to us: let, then, your servants find favour in your sight.” He then, like Judah, relates the whole affair, forgetting no circumstance which has a tendency to exculpate him and his companions ; and every thing which can touch the feelings of his judge will be gently brought before him. As he draws to a conclusion, his pathos increases, his companions put out their hands in a supplicating manner, accompanied by other gesticulations; their tears begin to flow, and with one voice they cry, “ Forgive us, this time, and we will never offend you more.”
* In 1823, two globe lamps were stolen from the Wesleyan Chapel in Trincomalee. I heard something fall, and went soon after and found the fragments of a tumbler on the ground, and saw what the thieves had carried off. Being convinced that it was some of the workmen, the constable was directed to fetch the men immediately. About ten o'clock at night they were all brought on the premises. Seeing one of them much agitated, I enquired of him if he did not think I knew something about it? — He fell at my feet like a person dead, and cried out, “ True! true! I have done it! I have done it !”
eyes upon him.”
21. — “ That I may set mine Has a beloved son been long absent, does the father anxiously desire to see him, he says, “ Bring him, bring him, that the course of my eyes may
my eyes ! do you again see my son? Oh, my eyes, is not this pleasure for you?”
XLV. 2. — “ He wept aloud.” Hebrew,“ gave
forth his voice in weeping." In this way do they speak of a person who thus conducts himself: “ How loudly did he give forth his voice and weep.” “ That child is for ever giving forth its voice.”
The violence of their sorrow is very great, and their voice may be heard at a considerable distance.
14, 15.-“ Fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept
he kissed all his brethren." When people meet, after long absence, they fall on each other's shoulder or neck, and kiss or smell the part. A